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Popular Culture: Reference Materials

Reference Materials

Why Reference Sources?

Is your research topic too big to cover in a short paper?  Is your topic so specific that sources will be hard to find?

Before you even begin your research, start the process with reference sources-- in the Library's Reference Section or online in our databases.  Reference books, like subject encyclopedias, can give you a head start and make your research easier in the long run.  Use reference sources to:

  • find a topic 
  • narrow your topic
  • find keywords
  • get background information on your topic

See also the section on Theories and Concepts

Collections of Many Online Reference Books in one place:

Credo Reference     and    Gale eBooks / Gale Virtual Reference Library   and   Salem Press

Oxford Reference and Sage Knowledge Reference also have thousands of scholarly, academic articles, but they are a bit more difficult to use.   Click here to find instructions on how to use these collections of reference books.

General Reference Works

Art, Literature, and Popular Culture [Themes] in U.S. History

Cambridge Dictionary of Sociology. Reference HM 425 .C36 2006

Concise Dictionary of Popular Culture

Dictionary of Global Culture.  General  CB 9 .D 53 1997

Encyclopaedia Britannica Online

Encyclopedia of Global Studies 

Encyclopedia of Pop Culture.   Reference  E 169.12 .S 835 1992

Greenwood Encyclopedia of World Popular Culture.   Reference  HM 621 .G 74 2007

Handbook of American Popular Culture.  General  E 169.1 .H 2643 1978

Icons of American Popular Culture

Pop Culture in Europe

Pop Culture in Latin America and the Caribbean

Pop Culture in North Africa and the Middle East

Sage Dictionary of Cultural Studies.

St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture.   Reference   E 169.12 .S 764 2000

More Specific Reference Works

The Afterlife in Popular Culture:  Heaven, Hell, and the Underworld in American Imagination

American Countercultures: An Encyclopedia of Nonconformists, Alternative Lifestyles.  Reference HM 647 .A 44 2009

American Icons:  An Encyclopedia of the People, Places, and Things that have Shaped our Culture.  Reference  E 169.1 .A 472155 2006

American Multicultural Identity:  Critical Insights to Literature

American Villain:  Encyclopedia of Bad Guys in Comics, Film, and Television

Artspeak:  A Guide to Contemporary Ideas, Movements, and Buzzwords, 1945 to the Present.   Reference  N 6490 .A 87 2014

Baseball:  An Encyclopedia of Popular Culture.   Reference  GV 867.64 .R 52 2000

Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction.  Reference  PN  56 .P 55 B 4.

The Bizarre World of Reality Television

Blue Collar Pop Culture:  From NASCAR to Jersey Shore.   General  HD  4901 .B 59 2012

Bowling, Beatniks, and Bell - Bottoms:  Pop Culture of 20th - Century America.   Reference  E 169.1 .B 7825 2002

Cassells's Peoples, Nations, and Cultures

Cold War Culture:  Media and the Arts, 1945 - 1990.   Reference  E 169.12 .S 39 1998

The Complete Encyclopedia of Signs & Symbols : Identification and Analysis of the Visual Vocabulary that Formulates our Thoughts and Dictates our Reactions to the World around Us.  Reference AZ 108 .C 65 2011

Dictionary of Gestures:  Expressive Comportments and Movements in Use Around the World.  General   P 117 .C 713 2018

Dictionary of the Future.  General  CB 161 .P 66 2001

Dictionary of Toys and Games in American Popular Culture

Encyclopedia of American Contemporary Culture.   Reference  E 169.12 .E 49 2001

Encyclopedia of American Popular Fiction

Encyclopedia of American Social Movements.  Reference  HN 57 .E 594 2004

Encyclopedia of American Studies.

Encyclopedia of Community: From the Village to the Virtual World

Encyclopedia of Consumer Culture.  Reference  HC 79 .C 6 E 53 2011

Encyclopedia of Contemporary Japanese Culture.   Reference  DS 822.5 .E 516 2002

The Encyclopedia of Guilty Pleasures.  Reference  HM 621.S 73 2004

Encyclopedia of Hair: A Cultural History

Encyclopedia of Jewish American Popular Culture

Encyclopedia of Latino Popular Culture.   Reference  E 184 .S 75 E 59 2004

Encyclopedia of Pulp Fiction Writers

Encyclopedia  of Romance Fiction

Encyclopedia of Rural America: The Land and People.  Reference  E 169.12 .E 5 1997

Encyclopedia of Social Deviance

Encyclopedia of Social Networks.

Encyclopedia of the Future.  General  CB 158 .E 53 1996

Etiquette and Taboos around the World : A Geographic Encyclopedia of Social and Cultural Customs

Famous Works of Art in Popular Culture:  A Reference Guide.  Reference  N 72 .S 6 S 667 2003

Geek Heroines:  An Encyclopedia of Female Heroines in Poplular Culture

International Encyclopedia of Adolescence.  Reference HQ 796 .I 58 2007

The Joy of Eating:  A Guide to Food in Modern Popular Culture

K-POP A to Z:  The Definitive K-Pop Encyclopedia

Key Concepts in Leisure Studies

Keywords in American Cultural Studies.

Language of American Popular Entertainment:  A Glossary of Argot, Slang and Terminology.    Reference  PN 1579 .W 5 1981

Modern Scandals:  1904 - 2008

The Mythical West:  An Encyclopedia of Legend, Lore, and Popular Culture.   Reference  GR 109 .S 53 2001

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy.  General  E 169.1 .H 614 2002

The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture   (some volumes may also be available in print form)

The Otaku Encyclopedia:  An Insider's Guide to the Subculture of Cool Japan.   Reference  HM 646 .G 35 2013

Outbreak! The Encyclopedia of Extraordinary Social Behavior.  Reference HM 866 .E 93 2009

The Oxford Encyclopedia of American Social History.  Reference HN 57 .O 94 2012

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Crime, Media, and Popular Culture

Pop Culture Landmarks.   Reference  E 159.2 .C 2 1995

Principles of Sociology:  Societal Issues and Behavior.   Reference  HN 18.3 .P 756 2018

Sage Dictionary of Leisure Studies

The Social Science Jargon Buster: The Key Terms You Need to Know.

Star Struck:  An Encyclopedia of Celebrity Culture

Statistical Abstract of the United States.  Latest edition on Ready Reference, older editions at General HA 202 .U 5 S 93.

Twentieth - Century American Cultural Theorists.  Reference  PN 451 .D 5 v.246 2001

The Value of a Dollar:  Prices and Incomes in the United States, 1860 - 2019.   Reference  HB 235 .U 6 D 47 1860 - 2019

We did What? Offensive and Inappropriate Behavior in American History.

Youth Cultures in America: An Encyclopedia

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